- Useful Information
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Time Difference / Business Hours
Korean time is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+9). Business hours for banks are generally from 09:30 to 16:30 on weekdays only. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. ATMs are widely available. Major department stores are open from 10:30 to 19:30, including Sundays, but smaller shops tend to open earlier and close later every day.
Currency & Bank
Korea’s currency is the won. There are 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 50,000 won bills. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 100, and 500 won. (1and 5 won coins are not widely in circulation)
Banks can offer some of the best exchange rates to travelers. Banking hours can vary, but most business hours are from 09:00 to 16:00. ATMs typically operate until 23:00, but many are open 24 hours. ATMs can also be found at convenient stores, but generally charge a higher transaction fee. ATMs that accept international cards are common, especially in areas frequented by foreigners; look for ATMs with a “Global” sign or the logo of your bank. Global ATMs offer multi-languages.
Diners Club, Visa, American Express and MasterCard are widely accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants in the larger cities. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.
Accepted, but may be difficult to change in smaller towns. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take Traveler's check in US Dollars. The exchange of foreign currencies may be made at Incheon International Airport.
Value-added tax (VAT) is levied on most goods and services at a standard rate of 10% and is included in the retail price. In tourist hotels, this 10% tax applies to meals and other services and is added into the bill.
Tipping is not a traditional custom in Korea. A 10% service charge will be added to your bill at all tourist restaurants and hotels. It is also not necessary to tip a taxi driver unless he assists you with luggage or provides an extra service.
In Korea, electrical outlets are operated at 220 volt only. Overseas delegates bringing laptop computers and other electrical appliances are advised to check whether a transformer is required.
Emergency Phone Number
According to a survey conducted 2015, South Korea was chosen as the world’s safest nation among 120 countries. South Korea has never been under attack from terrorist group. Possession of guns as well as drugs are prohibited and penalized by law. Also perfect order reigned throughout the country. 129 Medical Emergency, First Aid Services 119 Emergencies for Fire, Rescue & Hospital Services 112 Police